For all of my semi high falutin' tastes, I admit that one of my favourite meals, the one that has me fork and knife at the table ready, is the humble roast chicken. I have a visceral reaction whenever I see a gloriously bronzed bird at the table and along with bread baking, I believe there is no smell better than a roasting chicken. And because I can't help but fiddle, I made a stuffing with apricot and onion, a slight twist on the traditional sage and onion.
An item that makes another appearance in the recipe is Duck Fat. I had a little left over from cooking a duck stashed in the deep freeze. I never used it as I only had left such a small amount. But luckily only a small amount is needed here. If you can't be bothered, and the whole point is that this is an easy dinner where the oven does all the work, just use butter. And prepare to swoon, this method ensures that there's no dry breast meat at all, just succulence and bliss.
Perfect Roast Chicken
An original recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 1x good quality chicken (1.2kg feeds 3 people)
- 2 tablespoons of duck fat or butter
- 1 tablespoons of herbs of choice (I used fresh sage and dried oregano)
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 60g butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 dried turkish apricots
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 220c
First prepare the stuffing
Step 1 - In a saucepan, melt butter and cook onion until soft. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Once onions are cooked, add to bowl and combine. Add a little water to bind if necessary.
Then prepare the butter
Step 1 - In a mortar and pestle grind, make a paste of the garlic and herbs. Then mix duck fat through and set aside.
Then for the fun bit:
Step 1 - Stuff the chicken with the stuffing, being careful not to stuff the chicken too full as the stuffing will expand.
Step 2 - Breast side up, with legs of the chook pointing in your direction, strap on the latex gloves, trying not to make dirty jokes about airport cavity searches, and gently slide your fingers under the breast skin to ease it from the flesh. Push gently all the way down as far as your fingers will reach on both sides, then slide the herbed duck fat under the skin, massaging it along on the outside. Be very careful not to puncture the skin.
Bake chicken in 220c oven to 1 hour and 15 minutes.